Russia’s Prestige: Historical Architecture
Outskirts Press (2010)
Reviewed by William Phenn for Reader Views (5/11)
This is a very complete and concise volume of Russian architecture by a very talented writer. Mr. Parvaiz does more than just describe the beautiful architecture that is portrayed in the book. He goes the extra mile by giving the reader an insight into the history of the building. Beginning with Cathedral of the Dormition, to the Qolsharif Mosque, the chapters are descriptive and detailed. There is even a glossary at the end of every chapter that enlightens the reader to the terms used in that chapter.
Such amazing structures as the Catherine Palace in the Tsarskoe selo (the Tsar’s private city) are described with such detail that shows the author did his homework. He goes beyond the usual descriptions of the brick and mortar to include the reasons for its existence. It is this type of research that the author has done that makes this book stand out from the crowd of the usual architectural books.
The pictures are black and white, as would be expected in a book of architectural structures that date back as far as these do but that does not hinder the quality. The writing is top-notch and keeps the readers interest with the in-depth background and history.
The way the information is presented, with an in-depth history of the structures, makes it very interesting reading for everyone. He brought out some historical events that I had never seen or heard of in other books. It is general audience reading and full of wonderful pictures of all the old Churches and Cathedrals that are described and discussed. The cover graphics are appealing and the editing is a welcome change from most I have read recently. I enjoyed “Russia’s Prestige: Historical Architecture” and gave it my highest mark of an A+.